By Matt Farr
Southampton boss Claude Puel has named Eddie Howe as his pick for the next Arsenal manager.
Arsene Wenger is coming to the end of his current deal as Arsenal manager, and negotiations have yet to take place over an extension beyond the current season.
The long-serving Frenchman, who has been in charge at the Gunners since 1996, could retire at the end of the season if not offered a new deal.
Alternatively, he could take on a more senior role at Arsenal, such as director, allowing a younger boss to take the helm.
The Metro report that Puel believes current Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is the perfect man for the job, because he is very similar to Wenger.
Howe has been a big hit since stepping up as Bournemouth boss, leading the club to the Premier League – where they have remained since. The club are now 10th after 16 games.
Puel told the Metro: “Eddie has the same philosophy as Wenger. Eddie likes good technical players, like Arsenal. If one day he can manage Arsenal, that would be a good choice.
“It is always important when a team has a good philosophy to keep this philosophy with the same profile of players. It is important to keep the same quality, same spirit. It is important to continue his good work.”
Following in the footsteps of an iconic manager like Wenger has proven to be a tough task in recent season, with Manchester United the prime example.
Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, when they appointed David Moyes as his successor. However, Moyes made a poor start to life at United and was dismissed after just 10 months. Ryan Giggs filled in as interim manager.
Louis Van Gaal then took the helm after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but he too was dismissed after an unsuccessful campaign, replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Even the former Chelsea boss has needed time to convince the Old Trafford faithful, and Arsenal could well follow the same difficult recruitment process to find a replacement for Wenger.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners rejected the chance to sign the new Rio Ferdinand.